Our second MoM is: cbm New Zealand.

We have a vision to s2

We spoke with Programmes Officer Karen Jack on cbm's groundbreaking approach to making humanitarian work truly inclusive, recently piloted with their response to tropical cyclone Gita.

"One billion people worldwide live with a disability. Many are isolated from society due to stigma, or simply because of the barriers they face moving around the community.

Difficulties people with disabilities face only increase in humanitarian contexts, but given the scale and complexity of responding to disasters and conflict, their specific needs are often overlooked. What happens when tsunami sirens can't be heard, evacuation instructions can't be seen, or a safe assembly point requires crossing rough, wheel-puncturing ground? CID member organisation Christian Blind Mission NZ (cbm New Zealand) is not only making these issues visible but are actively demonstrating ways to navigate them, recently piloting an approach to inclusive disaster response for humanitarian organisations to be able to build from. The approach used recommendations from the recently released report 'Humanitarian Inclusion Standards for Older People and People with Disabilities' (co-authored by cbm international). Alongside the Pacific Disability Forum and its members- cbm New Zealand has produced a disability report from tropical cyclone Gita to foster inclusion in mid-term and recovery programmes.

cbm New Zealand's work has already inspired the Tongan government, a number of local Pacific organisations, and has raised interest and support from CID members Oxfam, Tear Fund, Habitat for Humanity and Caritas to collaborate with cbm New Zealand to integrate disability inclusive mechanisms in recovery phases. It is work that reminds us of a key value that drives and unites the international NGO sector: meeting the needs of those at risk.

In recent years, international frameworks for development and humanitarian work have recognised the importance that no one is left behind. cbm New Zealand are keen to make this a reality by promoting full inclusion of people with disabilities in development and humanitarian initiatives to break the cycle between disability and poverty.

Humanitarian Inclusion Standards for Older People and People with Disabilities released earlier this year promote best practice around gathering data about disability, addressing barriers to inclusion and the importance of active participation of people with disabilities in humanitarian action. Putting this into practice, cbm New Zealand partnered with the Pacific Disability Forum following Tropical Cyclone Gita, who led members from organisations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) in Tonga to complete a needs assessment survey with over 230 children and adults with disabilities. The participation of DPOs showcased the capacity of people with disabilities to be active in humanitarian response. Results from the needs assessment can now be used by members of the DPOs to advocate for greater inclusion in the recovery, and any future responses.

We have a vision to see every girl, boy, woman and man with a disability enjoy their human rights and achieve their full potential. Disability inclusive development can make this vision a reality."

Read more on cbm's pilot approach to Cyclone Gita here: https://www.cbm-nz.org.nz/news/365-tropical-cyclone-gita-in-tonga-disability-or-ability

Read cbm NZ's Disability Inclusion Policy Brief (2017) here: https://www.cbm.org/article/downloads/54741/20180327_CBM_Disability_Inclusion_Report_2017_accessible_version__FINAL_.pdf

Read 'Humanitarian Inclusion Standards for Older People and People with Disabilities' here: https://www.cbm.org/article/downloads/54741/Humanitarian_inclusion_standards_for_older_people_and_people_with_disabi....pdf


Many thanks to Karen Jack for sharing this amazing work with us.